RECIPE

Burnt pizza, here is where you went wrong

Some toppings require you to slightly cook them before placing them on your base.

In Summary

•It is important to scale, ball and wipe your dough balls with salad oil to prevent them from drying.

•Some toppings require you to slightly cook them before placing them on your base. 

Left, image of a well prepared pizza, right pizza with large bubbles on the crust.
Left, image of a well prepared pizza, right pizza with large bubbles on the crust.
Image: HANNIE PETRA

There's just an unexplained excitement about preparing your pizza at home.

Placing all your favourite ingredients, topping as much cheese as you'd like, it's all a dream.

But there's always the tiny chance that your creation may not come out as heavenly as you'd have envisioned.

Don't let this discourage you, it's a learning process.

Here are some common mistakes that lead to burnt pizza or bubbled crusts.

Master these, and in no time, your homemade pizza will be top tier, ordering out won't seem like an option anymore.

1) Toppings sliding.

This is due to big bubbles in the dough.

To avoid this, proof your dough. It is important to scale, ball and wipe your dough balls with salad oil to prevent them from drying.

After cooling, put them aside for about 24 to 72 hours. You will know the dough is perfectly proofed once it's double the original size and has started turning slightly yellow.

Alternatively, you can buy ready-made and proofed dough from the supermarket.

2) Burnt crust.

There are a few things that can result in burnt pizza crusts. They include; having too much heat coming from underneath, too much sugar in your dough, using cold dough and too much flour on the underside.

- If you put excess flour on your peel before transferring it to the oven, the bottom of the pizza will burn more easily as it's a dry agent. Always put just enough flour to prevent your pizza from sticking.

- If possible try moving your cooking tray higher in the oven from the heat source as possible. Also, check and adjust your heat settings accordingly to have less direct heat and more surrounding heat.

Pizza with burnt crust and sides
Pizza with burnt crust and sides
Image: HANNIE PETRA

3) Undercooked toppings.

If your toppings aren't cooked, you might have to consider adjusting your toppings so that they may cook evenly.

Some toppings require you to slightly cook them before placing them on your base. Experiment with your toppings until you find a good balance.

Using cold dough may also lead to the pizza toppings cooking slower than the base, especially if the dough is thick.

Overall, you should ensure you have even temperatures below and above because if you have too much heat from one side then it will definitely cook faster than the other.

If you're uncertain, you can always lift the pizza base to check if it is well-cooked before removing it from the oven.

Lastly, always preheat the oven for 30-45 minutes before placing your pizza.